Waterfowl Hunt Program Evaluation


The Department of Conservation reviewed the Managed Waterfowl Hunt Program to determine if any changes were needed. This program strives to provide quality hunting experiences and equal opportunities in a manner that encourages participation of new and more seasoned hunters.

Data Sources

For this evaluation, we used data sources that included daily green cards, statistics from the daily drawings, and hunter opinion survey results.

Info from Webcasts

We presented some results from our data analysis through live webcasts on Sept. 6 and 12.

September 6 Webcast

September 12 Webcast

Next Steps

Managers from our 15 managed wetland areas across the state will develop recommendations for potential changes to the morning draw and reservation systems. These recommendations will be posted in the draw rooms and online during this duck season so hunters have additional opportunities to discuss them with MDC staff. We will make final decisions in early 2019 and any adjustments could be made as early as the 2019 duck season.

Managed Waterfowl Hunt Program Five-Year Evaluation

Evaluated how well the Waterfowl Hunt Program is doing:

  • Providing equal opportunity
  • Providing a quality drawing, reservation, and hunting experience
  • Promoting conservation among hunters
  • Using efficient processes to manage the hunt program (e.g., staff time, funds, infrastructure)

What we heard from hunters

Generally satisfied with the quality of hunting provided on MDC areas

More dissatisfied with the reservation and morning drawing systems

Survey Results Showed

waterfowl hunt program survey

Offering two reservation options at all areas will accommodate the most hunters

waterfowl hunt program survey

For reservations, most hunters would like to know their number ahead of time, rather than drawing it the morning of the hunt

waterfowl hunt program survey

One Member Draw at all areas will accommodate the preferences of the most hunters

Adjustments Under Consideration

Major Changes:

All 15 managed hunter areas offer

  • Only have One Member Draw and eliminate Every Member Draw
  • Reservation – Poor Line Allocation
    • 25% pre-season reservations
    • 25% weekly reservation drawing
    • 50% poor line
  • Provide reservation holders with their number ahead of time

Other Changes:

  • Require that reservation applicants have small game and migratory bird licenses in order to apply for all reservations (unless exempt from purchasing permits)
  • Move toward electronic reservations for ADA blinds

Next Steps:

  • January - March 2019:
    Present recommendations to MDC Regulations Committee and Commission
  • 2019 Duck Hunting Season:
    Implement approved changes

Check the Code

This is NOT a legal document. Regulations are subject to revision during the current year.
Refer to the Wildlife Code.

Waterfowl Hunting Digest Cover